St Edward's newsletter May 2018

This half term has been one of super-star endeavours; from our exciting Open Day at the beginning of term to residential bush craft and French trips. The whole school went to the woods as part of our STEAM topic plus, by the time you’re reading this, we’ve hosted our first Inter-House cricket tournament for boys in Year 2 upwards. Some boys went to the Awesome Book Awards, some to the Living Rainforest, others to Southsea for the day…on top of all of this, we had a street party for lunch to celebrate the Royal Wedding.

It’s a good job the boys now get a break because next half of term seems even busier. Good luck with your revision for those of you with exams, and I look forward to sharing in all the many wonderful opportunities you have when we come back.

Mr Morgan-Nash.

Mrs Cottle with Year 6 tour guides

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the superheroes of St Edward’s Prep!

Boys and their parents came into school on Saturday 21st April to show off their superhero attributes and completed some exciting challenges. The boys of St Edward’s have been creating their own characters to represent the school values over the past few months and had the chance to put them to the test on the climbing wall, diffusing a bomb using robotics or painting a super-huge mural to name but a few.

Super weather made for a super day – and the superheroes of St Edward’s did not disappoint!

Whole School trip to Pangbourne Woods

It was fantastic to get outside and complete some great STEAM learning out in a beautiful, bluebell carpeted Pangbourne woods.

The purpose of the day was to link the engineering process with our curriculum values and to help the boys understand how to apply these skills from one discipline to another. The boys took part in a myriad of activities. We had pupils designing and building shelters, making traps to catch animals, learning how to make a compass to find their way out of the forest, testing and evaluating friction fire lighting techniques, creating communication devices, creating woodland art from natural resources, building bridges, catching and classifying mini beasts and building a bug hotel!

What fun and what a way to teach the pupils about the importance of STEAM. It is our mission at St Edward’s to prepare our pupils for the future, a future in which STEAM jobs will be at an all-time high. From what we saw on Monday, the future is bright for our boys.

Mr Parsons.

We have to say a huge thank you to the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service for coming in and doing a fantastic assembly. The boys were captivated by their stories and demonstrations of how the equipment works. All the boys were reminded of the importance of smoke detectors in the house and were encouraged to test them with their parents so they know what they sound like. The fire engine on the playground was amazing and the boys loved looking at the equipment and climbing in the back of the truck. The session ended with a real-life call and the fire truck disappeared out of the school, blue lights flashing and siren on. Thanks again to the fire service and to FREDs for organizing the event. Mr Parsons.

Year 2 trip to Southsea

Year 2 went on a trip to Southsea as an introduction to their humanities Seaside topic. Physical and human features of a seaside were considered and identified as we strolled along the front. Wrapped up snugly against the chilly sea breeze, the boys particularly enjoyed playing on the beach collecting special rocks and stones, chasing the tide and skimming stones.

A highlight of Southsea is seeing the boats and ferries but the hovercraft certainly takes center stage. We were able to get extremely close as it entered and exited the beach, so close in fact that we had to turn our backs in order to shield our eyes from the spray!

Carefully counting in twos, we worked out how many two pence pieces we’d get for our money before we played on the 2p machines in the arcade during the afternoon. We rounded off a fantastic day with ice-creams in the sunshine.

A trip to remember and agreement all round that the Seaside is a fun topic to study.

Mrs Swift.

Awesome Book Awards

The Awesome Book Awards is a prize that honours the best new fiction authors for young readers aged 7 to 10, and since it was first launched in 2016, St Edward’s boys have played a part in choosing the winner of this prestigious award. Since the beginning of the Autumn term, our boys have been busy reading the 2018 shortlisted books.

Five books were listed and nine of our boys read each and every one, making them eligible to vote for a winning book and to attend the Awesome Books Award Ceremony at Cranleigh School. After much debate, the boys decided that ‘Radio Boy’ by Christian O’Connell was their favourite read closely followed by ‘Cogheart’ by Peter Bunzl.

Voting cast, it was with much excitement and anticipation that we headed off to Cranleigh School to attend the glittering award ceremony. What an awesome night! We got to meet real, live authors of our favourite books who signed our copies and even spoke to us! The winner of the most awesome book was ‘Cogheart’ by Peter Bunzl. Mrs Andrew was thrilled as this had been her favourite book and Oliver was delighted as he is already reading ‘Moonlocket’, Peter Bunzl’s next book, which he had bought along with him and got it signed with a personal message from Peter Bunzl himself. How amazingly awesome is that?!

We can’t wait to begin reading the 2019 shortlist and to be part of the celebrations again, this time next year. Thank you Mr Jones for getting us there and back safely and to Cranleigh School for initiating and hosting such a prestigious event. Who would have thought reading for pleasure could be so exciting?

Mrs Andrew.

Hatfield Woods Trip

After a two hour journey, the boys stepped off the minibus and found themselves in the middle of the woods; the sun was shining and the trees looked majestic. A promising start to their adventure!

Barney, the bush camp leader, welcomed everyone, gave a few important safety rules and then it was time to set off deeper into camp.

Camp consisted of: several tents with a main yurt and camp fire in the middle; a small outside kitchen, a washing up area and, of course, the delightful portable toilets. Boys were introduced to their tribe leaders and got straight into their first activity of making fire. They were taught about the three elements of the fire triangle and about the different ways of starting a fire from scratch. Each tribe was tasked with finding different size twigs (matchstick, finger, thumb and wrist size) and then proceeded to light their fires with the help of their leaders. They knew they needed to make a fire in order to cook their lunch, so the pressure was on! Once the first sparks were lit, the fire started to grow and the boys enjoyed building their fire large enough for their burgers to cook on.

The afternoon activity was shelter building – one of the highlights of the stay for most. It involved finding branches, foliage, moss, decorative items and sweeping a whole area clear, as well as then building a structure that was strong enough to stay up, without any big gaps that would let the cold air in. Quite a challenge!

After a delicious dinner of pasta Bolognese, followed by ‘cow pat brownies’, the boys played evening games, sang around the camp fire and then got ready for bed in their tents. Having to spit in a hole in the ground when brushing teeth was certainly a novelty!

Some brave boys chose to sleep in their homemade shelters, in order to be as close as possible to all the elements and wildlife. Others tucked up with their torch and cuddly toy in the warmth of their tents. All in all, they settled well and soon went to sleep. The bush camp leaders all commented that this group of boys were very independent for their age, which was pleasing to hear.

With sunrise, the boys seemed to rise too - a nice early start for all. The boys worked well to clear their tents, pack their bags, brush teeth and get dressed all in time for breakfast at 8am. The big cooked breakfast was sausages and toast grilled on the fire, as well as hash browns and baked beans – delicious!

Another action packed day lay ahead, including plenty of games in the woods, a wilderness trail, trap making and bush camp challenges to finish.

It was sad having to say goodbye to the tribe leaders after lunch, the boys had bonded well with them and been thoroughly enthused and inspired by all their knowledge. Then it was time to pack up and leave ‘no trace’ in camp behind them. Once on the minibuses, many boys quickly fell fast asleep for the whole journey home.

It certainly was an exciting and action-packed couple of days away from home and the boys thrived in their new environment. They learned many life skills that they will hopefully remember for a long time to come. Our school values of independence, kindness, collaboration, resilience, hard work and problem solving were all put to the test and we felt extremely proud of the boys’ achievements and attitudes towards each other.

What a great team!

Mrs Hunt

Pre-Prep Assembly - The Royal Wedding

In preparation for the ‘Wedding of the Year’, Pre-Prep held an assembly all about The Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

We decided that Meghan should know about the Royal Family she is marrying into so found out lots of interesting facts about Harry’s ancestors.

Starting with the Anglo Saxon Kings we learnt that Alfred the Great was the first king who could read and write and he kept the land safe from invaders. Following on came the Normans. Did you know that William the Conqueror was a French invader? And we’re not surprised that the name Richard went out of fashion for Kings as they were all killed…

We then raced through the Plantagenets, the Tudors, the Stuarts and the House of Hanover finally arriving at the present day House of Windsor.

The boys eagerly informed us about Harry’s immediate family including his Grandmother the Queen! His father the Prince of Wales and his brother Prince William.

Finally, we learnt about the amazing work Harry and Meghan do including launching the Invictus games and being involved in humanitarian work.

The finale saw the boys sing an energetic rendition of ‘Celebration’.

We wish Harry and Meghan every happiness together.

Mrs Swift.

French Trip 2018

Waking up at the crack of dawn, we were soon on our way to France. Arriving at our destination, and after a rather long, and at times boring ferry crossing, we went on a country walk near our centre with Yvette and Bob, our hosts. Yvette had set us a challenge to find a rare wild orchid and eagle-eyed Avi and Lewis were the first to spot one. Many of us enjoyed the view from the top of the hills and getting to know a herd of dairy cows and a number of bulls! Back at the centre, disaster struck within moments of taking a shower! Oliver decided to have a shower and despite following Bob’s advice and orders, he managed to create a small ‘flood’. In his defence there wasn’t a shower tray and he was still not adept at using the shower curtain as a water barrier! Rujul, Aedan and Vashisht whilst enjoying bedtime stories with Mrs Andrew decided that Alfred was an ace storyteller and thoroughly enjoyed the stories he told back in their room. They think he should publish a book. The food at the centre was delicious. Freshly baked croissants from the local boulangerie, crusty baguettes and a wonderful barbecue on the last night delighted all the foodies on the trip. We, some of us, bravely tasted a variety of French cheeses (fromages) and learnt how to say “degoûtant” quite confidently! For others it was j’adore!

Year 3 Assembly

Year 3 travelled back in time to 1492 to tell us about Christopher Columbus and his dangerous voyage across the Atlantic.

Everyone thought Columbus was crazy to even try and sail West, Year 3 told us 'There be critters in the ocean, critters in the sea, where monsters rule the waves', yet Columbus still persuaded the King and Queen of Spain to fund the voyage.

It was a long journey and the crew of the three ships knew it was dangerous...they were even running out of food! Not that the food was great to start with...they had 'biscuits, water, nothing's very clean, something's turning green, don't know where it's been'.

Somehow, they survived the journey and met suspicious natives on arrival. They even took some of the natives back to Spain to 'show' the King and Queen!

Finally, Year 3 made a comparison between the journey of Christopher Columbus and that of Neil Armstrong. (We heard about him last year from another Year 3 class!) Deciding in the end that 'We'll just remember both of them, and then we will be fine'!

Hit for 6! St Patrick's win St Edward's first House Cricket Festival. Full report to follow..

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